The pathophysiology of spontaneous cervical artery dissection (sCAD) is largely unknown. An association with migraine has been suggested, but not definitively proven. In the setting of a hospital-based prospective case-control study we assessed personal and family history of migraine in 72 patients with sCAD, 72 patients with cerebral infarct unrelated to a CAD (non-CAD) and 72 control subjects. Personal history of migraine was significantly associated to sCAD compared to non-CAD (59.7% vs. 30.6%; OR 3.14; 95% CI 1.41-7.01) and controls (18.1%; OR 7.41; 95% CI 3.11-17.64). As opposed to migraine with aura, migraine without aura was significantly more frequent among sCAD than among non-CAD (56.9% vs. 25.0%; OR 3.91; 95% CI 1.71-8.90) and controls (12.5%; OR 9.84; 95% CI 3.85-25.16). Similar results were observed when the frequencies of family history of migraine were compared. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that migraine may represent a predisposing condition for sCAD.
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